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Utz Quality Foods acquires Inventure Foods

BY DSN STAFF

HANOVER, PA. — Utz Quality Foods announced Friday that it would be acquiring Inventure Foods in a deal valued at $165 million.

With manufacturing facilities in Arizona, Inventure’s portfolio includes such brands as Boulder Canyon Foods, TGI Fridays and Nathan's Famous.

“We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to acquire Inventure Foods,” Dylan Lissette, chief executive officer of Utz Quality Foods said. “The Company’s specialty snack food products and brands, as well as its geographic footprint, customer relationships and distribution strengths, are highly complementary to our business and we look forward to continuing Inventure’s strong heritage of innovation in both healthy and indulgent snacking. We have also been extremely impressed with the team at Inventure, and look forward to working together going forward.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.

“This transaction is the result of diligent analysis and thoughtful strategic deliberations by our board of directors and the result of the strategic and financial review we initiated in July 2016,” Inventure CEO Terry McDaniel said. “Our board, with the advice of independent advisors, determined that this transaction will deliver immediate and certain cash value to our stockholders and new opportunities for our snack brands.”

Utz is the largest privately held and family-managed maker of branded salty snacks in the United States, with its products including potato chips, pretzels, cheese snacks and popcorn.

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Pure Leaf launches home-brewed Matcha

BY Gisselle Gaitan

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — Unilever’s Pure Leaf tea brand has announced the release of the company’s first home-brewed Matcha tea. Sourced from the Rainforest Alliance Certified tea states in Kagoshimama, Japan, the brand will offer the tea sachets in two flavors — Pure Matcha and Matcha with Ginger

"As more Americans choose to make tea part of their daily routines, they are looking for an authentic home brewed tea experience at an accessible price," George Hamilton, tea director at Unilever said. "Both uncompromised and uncomplicated, the new Pure Leaf home brewed Matcha Teas allow for consumers to enjoy high-quality Matcha at home in just a few simple steps."

The product is made from high-quality tea leaves, along with herbs and spices that have been specially selected and blended to enhance flavors, the company said. 

Pure Leaf Matcha and Matcha with Ginger will be sold in 12-count jars for the suggested retail price of $8.49, joining the full range of products already available from the brand online and in stores nationwide.  

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Mondelez International announces leadership team changes

BY Gisselle Gaitan

DEERFIELD, Ill. — This week Mondelez announced a shift in its leadership. Glen Walter has been named EVP and president North America beginning in November. Walter was previously the CEO of Coca-Cola Industries China. In joining Mondelez, he will now be leading the company's $7 billion business in the United States and Canada, which includes such brands as as Oreo, belVita biscuits, Triscuit and Good Thins crackers, Trident gum and Halls cough drops.

"I'm thrilled to join Mondelez International and begin working with the leadership team to grow the North American business on both the top and bottom lines," Walter said. "I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues to shape the future for our unparalleled portfolio of iconic brands."

Walter will be succeeding Tim Colfer, who led the North American leadership role on an interim basis in April. He will now return full time to his responsibilities as chief growth officer.

"I'm thankful for Tim's efforts in leading the North America business in addition to his critically important role as chief growth officer," chairman and CEO Irene Rosenfeld, said. "In his brief time in the region, Tim has driven a new level of discipline across the business while generating strong plans for future growth and executional excellence."

Valerie Oswalt, the current president of North America sales has been named the new president NA Confectionery beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Oswalt has been part of the company since 1996, playing a key leadership role in establishing two distinct, world-class consumer teams and retail sales organizations to support the Kraft Foods Group spinoff in 2012.

Previously, Valerie held the role at Mondelez of Walmart consumer VP of beverage and grocery, where she and her impressive team improved the share growth for the business, earning them the title of Walmart’s “Supplier of the Year.”

Matthew Eckard also has been named president North America sales based in East Hanover, N.J., effective Jan. 1, 2018. Formerly the VP sales, west area, Eckard has been part of the company since 1992.

In 2012, he played a role in establishing Mondelez International as a stand-alone DSD route-to-market business after the spinoff of Kraft Foods Group. Eckard also worked internationally as director business development for Tassimo, operating across various country business units in Europe and North America to oversee the launch of this hot beverage system.

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